Nursing is a stressful profession. Nurses work long hours, and patients' lives are literally in their hands. Nurses who are under investigation by their state nursing boards face the additional stress of the possibility of having their professional licenses suspended or revoked. They risk losing their jobs and the ability to work in the career they spent years building. Under these circumstances, even the strongest, most resilient nurses might not be able to cope.
It's therefore understandable that many nurses whose licenses are under fire develop anxiety and depression. Nurses who already struggle with mental health issues might find that their conditions worsen under the stress that the state board investigatory process can bring.
This can make matters worse because anxiety and depression can affect nurses' ability to do their jobs, which can land them in even more trouble.
Nurses who experience anxiety and depression from the stress of a disciplinary investigation should not try to handle the situation alone. They need to know that help is available and how to find it. Failure to get the help they need can have devastating consequences.
Many Employers Offer Treatment Programs for Nurses Who Are Suffering From Anxiety and Depression
Nurses suffering from anxiety and depression, because their licenses are at risk, must get help. In addition to reaching out to family and friends, nurses should take advantage of counseling and treatment programs that their employers provide. Many hospitals offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) that help nurses get the treatment they need and avoid the disciplinary process.
For example, New York's Mount Sinai Hospital system has an EAP that offers many treatment options for nurses and other employees who are suffering from anxiety and depression.
Alternative to Discipline Programs Can Help Nurses Suffering From Anxiety and Depression Keep their Licenses and Jobs
If the reason a nurse's license is at risk is due in some part to an underlying mental illness, many state nursing boards offer programs that seek to rehabilitate nurses — instead of punishing them — so they can heal, recover and keep their jobs.
Known in many states as Alternative to Discipline Programs (ADPs), these programs offer treatment to nurses who have serious problems, such as anxiety and depression, that are affecting their ability to do their jobs. In many cases, nurses who successfully complete such programs will not lose their licenses or jobs.
For example, California's Intervention Program allows nurses who are suffering from mental health problems to undergo treatment in lieu of facing disciplinary action.
The Lento Law Firm Can Help Nurses Struggling With Anxiety and Depression Get the Help They Need
The state nursing board disciplinary process can be long, stressful, complicated, and expensive. Nurses suffering from anxiety and depression need someone to help them navigate and understand the process.
They also need someone to handle communication and scheduling matters for them; someone to help them respond to board inquiries; someone to advise them how to respond at hearings; and someone who can help them find all of the mental health treatment options they are entitled to under the law.
Having someone like this at their side can alleviate a lot of nurses' stress and go a long way toward restoring their mental health and protecting their jobs.
Joseph D. Lento and his knowledgeable Professional License Defense Team have years of experience successfully representing nurses and medical professionals around the country. They can help nurses whose licenses are at risk – and who are anxious and depressed as a result – defend themselves and get the help they need. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or submit a confidential online consultation form.